Steel Taipan coming to Dreamworld 2021


Coming to Dreamworld in late 2021, Steel Taipan is a reptilian roller coaster experience with a top speed of 105km/h and a G-force of 3.8.

You’ll need to hang on tight, as Steel Taipan snakes around 1.2km of twists, turns and gut-lurching launches!

With multiple inversions and even a spinning gondola at the rear of the train, this experience will have enough venom to leave you reeling.

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DHS cybersecurity chief: More ransomware attacks coming


Brandon Wales, acting director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency with the Department of Homeland Security, speaks during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Tuesday, May 11, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Tasos Katopodis/Pool via AP)

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UPDATED 11:25 AM PT – Sunday, May 16, 2021

Acting director of the Department of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity agency Brandon Wales warned lawmakers that more ransomware attacks are on the horizon. In an appearance before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday, Wales cited the SolarWinds hack last year which he said should have acted as a wake-up call to the danger that was to come.

This after the Colonial Pipeline was shut down earlier this month after a suspected Russian ransomware attack blocked its computer systems sending gas prices soaring across the Southeastern U.S.

“Cyber attacks on our nation’s infrastructure are growing more sophisticated, frequent and aggressive. Wales voiced his concerns stating, “malicious cyber actors today are dedicating time and resources towards researching, stealing and exploiting vulnerabilities…using more complex attacks to avoid detection and developing new techniques to target information and communications in supply chains.”

The FBI said DarkSide, a group relatively new to the ransomware, was behind the attack and asked for a ransom of $5 million. Reports say around $350 million was paid out in ransomware attacks last year with incidents up almost 300 percent.

The Colonial Pipeline is responsible for nearly half of the fuel supply on the East Coast. It fully returned to normal operations on Saturday.

MORE NEWS: Rep. Stefanik Selected As No. 3 House Republican After Ouster Of Rep. Cheney



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Second homes are coming under increasing attack in Wales


RHYS TUDUR strides up onto the cliff edge and surveys the world below. On one side is a steep drop into the Irish Sea. On the other is Nefyn, a picturesque seaside village. But for Mr Tudur, a solicitor and local councillor, it is also a battleground. The enemy are second-home owners, and he points out their stations. Some are big mansions; others are unassuming former council houses. “Soon there won’t be a community here,” he laments.

This part of north Wales is beautiful, nationalistic and changing quickly as newcomers buy up properties. In Nefyn, around a fifth of properties are second homes. In Abersoch, 12 miles away, 46% are. That village is packed with 4x4s and sports cars driven by Cheshire’s business elite. Tensions are clear. A Welsh flag emblazoned with the words “Nid yw Cymru ar Werth” (“Wales is not for sale”) flies from a window near the seafront.

Over the past year local people have reported visiting second-home owners to the police, claiming that they have been flouting restrictions. Vandals have scrawled “Go Home” across holiday homes in Pwllheli. A few homeowners have been sent images of matchboxes on social media—a reference to the burning of English-owned holiday homes in the 1980s and 1990s. Others have made their points politely. Mr Tudur led a 20-mile march from Nefyn to Caernarfon; others dug “…

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The fear that haunts markets – is inflation coming back?


Economies are now so heavy with savings and state cash that rising prices cannot be ruled out. But will it happen?

The spectre of inflation had investors on the run last week. With no handbook to guide them on how economies behave in a pandemic, markets are struggling to predict whether a post-Covid recovery will be so strong as to bring with it a tidal wave of spending that sends prices spiralling.

Investors are spooked because rising inflation, which threatens investment and consumer spending, would need to be tamed by a rise in currently rock-bottom interest rates – and that would be anathema to markets and a corporate sector that have grown used to cheap money.

Continue reading…

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American-style voter ID laws are coming to Britain


VOTING IN MAINLAND Britain is astonishingly easy. You turn up at a polling station and state your name and address. An official finds your name on a list, draws a line through it, then hands you your ballot. The question must have occurred to many people: couldn’t somebody else pretend to be me?

Many Britons believe that happens a lot. In early 2019 Ipsos MORI, a pollster, found that 58% thought personation—pretending to be somebody else—was a serious problem nationally. Asked why they thought that, some said they had heard about fraud in the media while others cited local rumours. A few said it was simply human nature.

Personation was indeed once widespread in Northern Ireland, which is why the province has required identification since 1985. Elsewhere in Britain it is extremely rare. If somebody turns up at a polling station and finds that their name is already crossed off, they are given a “tendered” ballot. Just 1,359 of those were handed out in the December 2019 general election, out of an electorate of 47.5m, and tendered ballots are issued for other reasons too. Personation fraud was alleged 33 times that year, resulting in one conviction and one caution.

Still, the government judges the threat to the democratic process sufficient to warrant a big change to electoral rules. On May 11th it announced that it…

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DHS chief Mayorkas tours border facility, says hundreds of migrant kids still coming over every day


Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Friday toured facilities at the southern border, touting how the Biden administration has emptied Border Patrol facilities — but warned that officials are seeing hundreds of unaccompanied children cross the border each day.

Mayorkas toured the facility in Donna, Texas, which had been packed with more than 4,000 migrants early on in the crisis — with migrants seen crammed into small pods.

Since then, the administration has shifted many of the children in those centers into the custody of Health and Human Services, where the number of migrants in care has ballooned from 12,000 to more than 22,000 in just a few months.

KAMALA HARRIS CALLS FOR ‘IMMEDIATE RELIEF’ FOR NORTHERN TRIANGLE IN VIRTUAL MEETING WITH MEXICAN PRESIDENT

But the administration has marked it as a win, saying that children are better being cared for by HHS than by Border Patrol agents. The administration earlier this week released pictures of empty areas, contrasting it with those from March.

Mayorkas told reporters that they’ve made  “dramatic progress” but stressed that “the challenge remains,” and said that they intended to keep current capacity to cope with future influxes.

“We’re down to about 1,830 people per day right now,” he said, referring to encounters at the border. Unfortunately, we’re still seeing a fairly high population of migrant children are coming across — 270 a day right now, the last 21 days,” he said.

There were more than 172,000 migrant encounters at the border in March, including a record number of migrant children, and similar numbers are expected for April. It overwhelmed facilities and left Border Patrol releasing migrants into the interior without notices to appear in court.

DHS RELEASES IMAGES OF EMPTY BORDER PATROL FACILITY AS CHILD MIGRANTS MOVE TO HHS SHELTERS 

The Biden administration has refused to call the surge at the border a crisis, calling it instead a “challenge” and blaming it on a mix of the Trump administration’s lack of preparedness and “root causes” in Central America like poverty, violence and climate.

Critics have blamed the Biden administration’s refusal to apply Title 42 health protections — which allow migrants to be quickly removed — to children and some migrant families, while also blaming its rolling back of Trump-era policies like border wall construction and the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

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Mayorkas has faced pressure from activists who have called for him to end Title 42 completely. He said that they are making exceptions for some vulnerable people on Title 42 — but indicated that the program would be in place until the pandemic was over.

Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday met virtually with the Mexican president and called for “immediate relief” for Northern Triangle countries as part of an effort to resolve those root causes.

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Due to pandemic, Sri Lanka bans entry of passengers coming from India – NewsIn.Asia


Colombo, May 6 (newsin.asia) : The Sri Lankan government has prohibited the entry of Indian passengers into Sri Lanka from Thursday. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said arrivals from India will be prohibited entry to Sri Lanka with immediate effect.

However the CAA added that the prohibition would be reviewed as early as possible based on instructions from the health authorities.

The CAA said the decision has been taken on the advise of the Health Ministry owing to the prevalent COVID-19 situation in India.

India is currently facing a crisis due to its latest coronavirus outbreak, with over 300,000 cases being detected per day and a high death rate at present.

412,618 Covid cases were reported in India in the 24-hour period ending at 06am today, making it the highest number of cases reported in a country within a day.

Sri Lanka too is battling the third wave of the coronavirus at present, with over 1900 cases being reported on a daily basis



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A cash for drink containers scheme is coming


Container Deposit Schemes encourage
people to collect their containers, rather than disposing in general waste,
leading to more and better recycling and reducing litter in our parks, gardens
and waterways.

The scheme proposed by the
Victorian Government will involve a 10 cent refund per container, encouraging
the collection and return of empty containers to a network of refund points.

Container deposit schemes
are great for communities, providing grassroots organisations, local sports
clubs, schools and households an opportunity to fundraise or earn some extra
cash.

Separating our recycling
streams gives more control to recyclers and creates high-quality recycled content
– providing a clean waste stream where the containers recovered are sorted
efficiently.

The materials such as
glass, plastic and aluminium that are collected are highly recyclable and are
turned into high-grade recycled products with a strong market value –
encouraging a circular economy that extends the life of these materials and
reduces our reliance on natural resources.

The scheme has many
benefits including reduced costs for local councils by reducing litter clean-up
costs.

The City of Greater Geelong
welcomes the scheme and has been involved during the consultation phase with
State Government. The scheme is due to start in 2023.

To find out more visit the Container Deposit Scheme website.

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Movie Theaters Are Coming Back. Now What?


Still, one film’s success isn’t proof of an entire industry’s resurgence. To survive beyond the pandemic, theaters must persuade moviegoers not just to come back, but to come back more frequently than they did—to start thinking of their local cinema as akin to their favorite coffee shop. Because a return to pre-pandemic habits isn’t enough, industry executives told me they’ve been spending this past year rethinking the role of theaters in the first place. “What we did during our downtime is … spend our energy on things that are going to move us forward and improve the experience of coming to the cinema,” Tim League, the founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, a Texas-based chain, told me. Moviegoing, simply put, is hoping to meet your post-pandemic needs. Here’s what viewers can expect:


1. Theaters will be more digitized.

You probably noticed that major cineplexes were moving in a digital direction long before the pandemic. Paperless ticketing and online seat reservations were becoming common, but the shutdown provided the opportunity to fine-tune such services. Mark Zoradi, the CEO of the global theater chain Cinemark, told me that launching “Snacks in a Tap,” a program that allows moviegoers to order concessions online, was one of the company’s priorities in 2020. Alamo Drafthouse did the same, adding to its app the feature to order food in advance. Making every step of the theatergoing experience as contactless as possible has made it even easier to give customers what they’re ultimately looking for these days: “that sparkling-clean environment,” Zoradi said.

2. Theaters will be more private.

Don’t expect virtual screenings to continue outside of smaller indie venues. But do expect the private auditorium rentals that theaters began offering during the pandemic to stick around. They’ve been lucrative: AMC hosted more than 150,000 such showings in 2020, as has Cinemark through February of this year, and half of Alamo Drafthouse’s revenue during the height of the pandemic came from such a program. “It’s become very, very, very popular,” Moritz said. “People want to be secure about who’s at the theater.”

And most theaters, he added, will maintain staggered showtimes to allow for cleaning between screenings and to keep guests comfortable—no more shoving your way past departing moviegoers to get to your seat, at least for the time being. Indeed, major chains, encouraged by the success of private screenings, are focused on offering, as Zoradi put it, “enhanced” experiences at affordable prices: more reclining chairs, more food and beverage options on the menu, and the ability to have concessions delivered straight to your seat.

League told me that the Alamo, already geared toward cinephiles with its strict moviegoing etiquette and celebrity events (Q&As with a cast, for instance, or director introductions to film screenings), has also been building out the company’s video-on-demand feature, which provides content such as director commentary that can be accessed after showings on the Alamo app or at home. “There is pressure to make sure the experience is awesome every time,” he said. “I think every exhibitor feels that.” So do theater employees, who must put in extra effort on the ground to produce that coziness for every attendee. “It’s nothing that I’m not used to, as I am an Avengers: Endgame survivor,” Parsley told me of the extra time he’s spent cleaning theaters between every screening. “But it has made for some very long days.”

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